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Moms and horses take the roses over the weekend

Moms everywhere were treated by their families with gifts, lunches and roses in honor of Mother’s Day. The special day for remembering mothers was officially proclaimed in 1914 by Congress and President Woodrow Wilson, and has become a popular tradition in many countries around the world.

Horses, too, figured prominently in the past weekend with the annual running of the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Ky. This year’s race had an extra moment of suspense as the local Louisville television station dropped the feed just before the climatic end of the race. Fortunately, the satellite feeding our local stations was able to pick up the program just in time to witness the 20 -1 long shot, “Animal Kingdom,” come storming across the finish line to claim the roses!

Among those watching and cheering were the 150-plus participants in the local “Derby Day” Party held at the Herbst Farm on Possum Hollow Road. The big annual “do” is hosted by Kristi Herbst, Kim Amsden and Kathryn Lewis and their families. This year’s extravaganza included, besides watching the actual Derby race, traditional mint juleps, the Parade of Horses, and many other entertainments that kept all the guests clapping and cheering. Mary Herbst won the Parade of Hats and John Boyles made the best toss in the Irish Stone Throwing contest. Performances of precision riding were given by the Equestrian Drill Team, comprised of riders 10 and under. They were Caroline Lewis, Clair Nicholson, and Taylor Fishbeck all of Farmington, and Libby Montgomery of Fredericktown. Those who rode as the Arabian Native Costume team were Kate Lewis of Farmington, Scarlett O’Shaunessy of St. Louis, Demi Darian of Desoto and Gina Upchurch of Chesterfield. Gina is the daughter of Diane Danieley Upchurch, and the granddaughter of Maxine and Don Danieley of Farmington.

A new feature was “The Minute to Win It” contest won by Katherine Lewis. Prizes for all of the contests were gift cards from Colton’s Restaurant. The silent auction raised $1,500 that went to benefit the Myranda’s Pals Relay for Life Team. Myranda was the daughter of Katie and Leeman Schwent who died of cancer several years ago. All in all, it was a glorious day of fun, food and fantasy and the ladies of the area are already designing next year’s Derby hats.

A run for the bunnies … While horses may run for the roses, the short-legged basset hounds settle for running for the rabbits. The Three Creek Basset Hound Club of St. Charles held their final hunt of the year on May 1st at the Herbst Farm. Despite the rain, 12 club members, along with Kristi and Demi Herbst and Mary Voertmann, rode out along the old Belmont railroad track, giving the Bassets an opportunity to flush out assorted wildlife for the riders to hunt. The only shooting that went on that day was done with film, as the hunt and the antics of the bassets were all caught on camera.

Girl’s day luncheon … Barbara Hartshorn and her daughters, Nancy Johnson and Susan Eye, and granddaughters Allison Johnson O’Donnell and Molly Eye, celebrated Mother’s Day by attending the special luncheon prepared by the chef at the St. Francois Country Club. Allison had arrived on Saturday from her home in Shawnee, Kansas, as a surprise for her mother.

Retreat of the best kind … Hank Johnson, owner of Chaumette Vineyard and Winery, announced that the new Boardroom Villa is near completion and the first corporate retreat in the new facility is scheduled for May 19. Johnson said he is excited at the way the meeting space has come together, and is anxious to show it off. He has extended an invitation to guests to view the new facility while visiting the winery. A new kitchen and pavilion expansion is also in the works for the Chaumette property

New joints on the increase … Fred Lerche, the son of Otto and Grace Lerche of Farmington, was featured in the April 18-24 weekly publication of the Springfield Business Journal. According to Lerche, who is director of CoxHealth’s musculoskeletal service line, the projected increase for hip and knee replacements will be immense by 2030. Lerche said the forecast is a 673 percent increase in knee, and 174 percent rise in hip replacements. He attributes the upsurge in orthopedics to the aging of the Baby Boomers and an active older generation. Based on the research by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the Meyer Orthopedic Center, a $48 million specialty care facility, was built last spring on CoxHealth’s South National Avenue Campus in Springfield, Mo. Fred is married to his Farmington high school sweetheart, Anne O’Neal. They have one son, Evan, and make their home in Springfield.

The Best of the Best … A crowd of employees and customers gathered around as representatives of the Farmington Chamber of Commerce made their way into Farmington’s Redfield Collision Center on Wednesday carrying a basket overflowing with tissue paper and balloons. The surprise visit was occasioned by the naming of Redfields’ Tina Cashion as Farmington’s Best Administrative Professional. Tina was warmly applauded by the Redfield staff and congratulated by owner Greg Redfield.

A high honor … Victoria Damba, DO, of Farmington was recently installed as President of the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (MAOPS). Dr. Damba is on the staff of Mineral Area Regional Medical Center.

The “Girls” go over the top … It’s the largest one-night fundraiser ever held for the United Way of St. Francois County, as The Girls’ Night Out Spring Fling, hosted April 28 by Jackie Berry, raised $3,738 About 100 women attended the event and a silent auction added to the fun. The annual event was held at Twin Oaks Winery. Guests also brought donations of crayons, markers and coloring books for the Children’s Advocacy Center or paper towels and trash bags for Habitat for Humanity of St. Francois County. The two agencies are among 28 local organizations supported by the United Way in 2011. Donations received go toward the $175,000 the United Way has set as its goal for fundraising this year.

Summer Reading Program signups will begin Monday, May 16. The theme for this year’s program is, “One World, Many Stories”. Reading packets will be available June 1 and the programs will be held in July.

Local author John Bloom will be in the Farmington Public Library this evening from 5 to 7 p.m. to discuss his juvenile fiction fantasy book, “Through the Gateway,” a teen adventure book. John Bloom is a Farmington High School and Mineral Area College Alumni. The book establishes the fantasy world of Jackson Layton and the crazy journey he and his friend Maddie embark on. John spends most of his free time seeking out the hidden treasures that Southeast Missouri has to offer to incorporate into future Gateway high action books.

Senior “Move It Day” … Wednesday, May 25 is “Senior Move It Day” at the Civic Center. The day will include health and fitness screenings, sample fitness classes, fun activities and a group walk. For more information call the Civic Center.

Too wet for the fishies … The Wiggle and Giggle fishing derby for kids ages 7 to 14, that was to have been held last Saturday was postponed due to rain. The derby, sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department, has been rescheduled for this Saturday, May 14, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Hager Lake in Farmington Industrial Park. Registration at 7:30 a.m.

MUM’s Café menu … The Thursday evening free meal offered by the Memorial United Methodist Church will feature Cha Cha Cha Enchilada Casserole this week. The meal is served from 5 to 6 p.m. in the fellowship hall and is open to the community.

Picnic in the Park ,,, The Presbyterian Manor will hold a picnic in the Dean Danieley Park in Farmington at noon on Tuesday, May 17. The barbeque lunch follows the tour for the Manor’s newly renovated homes and apartments that starts at 10:30 a.m. RSVP by May 16 to Jacque at 756-6768. Transportation will be furnished from the Manor to the park.

Our spring seems to coming in starts and stops this year, but enjoy it each time it makes a showing! The positive side is that the flowering trees and plants have never looked better. Take a ride or walk around town to spot the many different “blooms” that are making their annual spring bow.

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